Welcome back to Guerrilla Marketing, our series of posts on unconventional and inexpensive marketing techniques you can use in your business.
Our last post covered what door-knocking is and its advantages as well as disadvantages. In this post, we’re looking at the tools needed for this type of salesmanship (or marketing), as well as tips for preparing before you try door-knocking yourself.
You've read the pros and cons and want to knock on some doors? That's awesome!
Just like showing up for a job, you want to have all the tools you'll need at your disposal.
We've compiled a list of the sales tools that will help you make the most of your time.
You should rehearse a sales script before going out into the field. When someone asks a question or says something that throws off your flow—which they will—having a sales script prepared in advance will keep things running smoothly. For door-to-door sales, you don't need to follow your exact script, and you never want to be reading it when you're with a potential customer. Still, it is essential to think through how the conversation could go and rehearse what you'll say. Practicing your script will help boost your confidence when talking to a customer.
You can leave these behind with people who aren't ready to decide at the moment but might want to contact you later if they change their mind. Business cards are cheap and a worthwhile investment if it means someone will remember your company and come back later when they have time (or money) to hire you! Bring a pen so you can write personalized notes on your business cards.
Door hangers are great for getting people's attention. They're also easy to pass out, so if someone isn't home when you drop by, they can still get your message later. Your door hangers should include your services, any promotions, and contact information such as your phone number and website. A door hanger is also a great place to highlight your best work with before and after pictures. A well-designed door hanger lets potential customers see what they would get if they hired you. Make sure you have enough door hangers to leave one at every house you visit.
Coupons are a great way to make people remember your company by offering them something free or at a discount, especially when speaking with them at the door. Having an information sheet handy can help customers understand even more about your business before they commit to hiring you. You can include coupons and further information on your business card and door hangers, but having separate items helps go the extra mile.
You should prepare to make an estimate or a booking on the spot so that you can act fast if you meet someone ready to hire you. Travel with a complete price list with you and a way to take down their information. By collecting their contact information and noting the services they're interested in, you'll know what to send them after you return from knocking on doors. It's also essential to have access to your calendar so that you can give them your availability if they want to schedule work on the spot. If your quoting/booking process isn't mobile, consider ServiceMonster, which lets you run your business from an app. If ServiceMonster isn't suitable for you and you can't find another solution, plan for how you'll handle a customer who's ready to hire you.
Before going door-to-door, you'll need to prepare. Here are some things to consider:
You'll want to have a clipboard or notepad on hand so you can write down contact information and make notes about your conversation with the customer. Make sure you have plenty of business cards and door hangers on hand. You can get these printed by asking a local printer or ordering them online. Don't forget to bring the tools you need to make an estimate on-site so that you can provide quotes on the spot!
Dress appropriately for the weather and season. Wear comfortable shoes that won't slow you down when making your rounds. Choose something comfortable but professional—jeans and a button-up shirt are perfect for door-to-door sales, so long as they're clean and ironed. Avoid wearing anything too distracting or colorful because it may make people feel uncomfortable about opening their door to you.
Choose a neighborhood where people will likely have money and time to spend on your services. Make sure it's an area where people feel comfortable talking with strangers—not a gated or remote community. Choose another neighborhood if you are worried about running into trouble with security guards or police officers. Check the terrain and spacing between houses and find a place where you'll be able to park before going door-to-door to ensure the area is suitable.
Practicing your pitch is extremely important because it will give you confidence when going out into the field. Practice in front of friends or family members, or practice saying a friendly "Hello" in the mirror before going out—it's crucial that you sound confident and friendly when approaching potential customers.
In these tough economic times, people watch their nickels and dimes more carefully than before, so don't be discouraged if folks turn you down. You're also going to speak with people who aren't interested in your services, and they're going to turn you down too. Don't let that discourage you. Even if they aren't interested, they get the information to make an informed decision later.
If they say yes, great! You've just gained another customer.
If you've reached the end, you're ready to take to the sidewalk and start knocking on some doors. Door-to-door salespeople have been traveling to homes or businesses for over 100 years, and it's time to take this time-tested marketing method into the field to book some jobs.
Don't be afraid to get out there and do it; you miss out on business if you don't try it at least once.
ServiceMonster can support your door-to-door efforts and help you be more effective in the field. You can start a free trial if you're not currently using ServiceMonster.
Providing an estimate on the fly is a great way to get a potential customer interested in hiring you. You can make estimates in ServiceMonster Mobile by creating a new order with the "estimate" type and adding the potential customer as an account with the "lead" type. After the estimate is made, you can email it to them. Emailing a potential customer is a great way to get their contact information and send them something they will see after your conversation. Read more about orders on mobile here.
Even if you don't send an estimate, you can still enter potential customers as leads in the mobile app. Entering them as a lead will make it easy to follow up with them and help you track the success of your door-to-door efforts later. To record a lead:
Learn more about creating accounts and managing leads on mobile.
A big part of going door-to-door is leaving behind door hangers or business cards. It can be challenging to track which customers come to you because of the materials you left behind - but by creating a promotion exclusive to them, you can track those customers. Start by creating a marketing campaign, then create a promotion for the campaign that matches the offer printed on your materials. Tracking promotions will give you an idea of how many people booked after receiving your door hanger. Take this a step further by adding the cost of your door hangers to the campaign as an expense so that you can calculate your total return on the money you spend on door-to-door sales.
Going door-to-door is one of the most effective ways to get your name out there, especially when you're just starting or facing a business shortfall. It's inexpensive and quick, and it allows you the chance to meet face-to-face with potential clients. However, there are a few things you should consider before you start knocking on doors to sell your service. In this post, we’ll look at the advantages and disadvantages of door-knocking so you can determine if it’s a good fit for your business.
Door-to-door sales is a term used to describe going door-to-door to sell a product or service. But what is it in practice?
The stereotypical door-to-door salesperson that we think of is often someone who works for a direct selling company. Direct selling companies are companies that sell products directly to consumers through direct sales representatives, who are independent contractors that make a commission off of every sale. Direct selling companies have been around since the 1940s; many are legitimate companies with good products. Still, their commission-based pay structure encourages salespeople to be unrelenting in securing a sale. The pay structure of direct selling companies and the behavior of their salespeople have given door-to-door selling a lousy wrap with consumers.
It's essential to understand the difference between an independent contractor working for a big direct selling company and a business owner selling a service. You might be using the same approach to sales, but you aren't in the same category.
Suppose you work for a direct sales company, and you're still reading this post. In that case, it's a good time to stop because the strategies here won't be half as effective for you as they are for a service business and an independent entrepreneur.
One of the most significant advantages of door-knocking is that you can reach a wider audience than other forms of marketing. Service businesses offer things that every homeowner needs, and chances are there are people in your area who would be interested in hiring you. Door-to-door sales lets you reach customers without them finding your product online or through advertising.
With most forms of marketing or sales, connecting with customers in person is impossible, but knocking on doors almost guarantees you'll meet a future customer. Meeting customers means getting to know your customers and their needs before they hire you. Knowing your customers is especially important if they have to trust you when you enter their homes to perform a service. You can't get this personal connection via phone calls or emails alone.
The number one advantage of door-to-door sales for home service businesses is seeing a potential customer's home, which lets you tailor your sales pitch. For example, suppose your company specializes in pressure washing, and you see grime and oil spots on their driveway. In that case, you can explain to them how pressure washing would make it look good as new and even tell them the exact methods you would use. Lawn care and landscaping are also industries where this approach works well, as is any industry where you can see the area you're servicing from outside. This strategy of assessing and addressing the customer's needs on-site before you even knock on the door is only possible with door-to-door sales.
When you sell your services door-to-door, unpredictability is a part of the job. You never know what you'll find when you knock on someone's door: maybe they'll be in the mood to talk, perhaps they'll be annoyed you're there, or maybe they won't answer their door. While there are ways to make it a valuable knock regardless of what happens, you will need to knock on many doors to find people interested in your service. Impatience won't help you win door-to-door.
Laws in many states make it illegal for door-to-door salespeople to solicit customers without obtaining permission from those customers or during certain hours of the day. Specific homeowners associations may have policies, and some homeowners will post a no-solicitation sign. It's best if you check with your state's Department of Consumer Affairs before you start knocking on doors.
When researching local laws, remember that many things fall under the legal definition of solicitation, so look specifically for laws and policies that apply to selling services door to door. An excellent place to start your research is library.municode.com, a website with an extensive database of municipal codes that is free to use. You may also want to call your local municipality to check. Most importantly, always respect the homeowner's wishes if they ask you not to solicit their home, and leave the neighborhood when asked. Overstaying your welcome in a community can damage your company's reputation.
Another disadvantage of door-to-door sales is that you have to walk around in all weather conditions. Bad weather can be uncomfortable and even dangerous if you don't prepare. Still, planning and preparation make it much more manageable. Because you will be walking door-to-door, the terrain and the area's layout can make or break a day of selling.
In the next Guerrilla Marketing post: we'll go over tools and strategies to make door-to-door sales successful in practice. Stay tuned!
To automate your marketing strategy, two core facets need to be addressed. The first is capturing attention and acquiring leads, the second is the follow-up after you capture them. Before addressing any of the processes involved in automated marketing, you need a place for potential leads to land on the internet. The web presence of your business is crucial to potential customers contacting you. This includes your social media (i.e., Facebook and Instagram) your google business presence, and a strong website.
Social media can be addressed in a wide variety of ways, but it is good to post at least a couple times a week. These posts can be before and after pictures of job sites, “value add” posts that explain the benefits your service offers, or positive reviews of your business (NiceJob offers an excellent product that automatically turns your best reviews into social posts.) While not the cornerstone of your marketing strategy, social media is a great way to build trust with web-based leads.
Google’s business is centered around managing your reviews on google, which is critical to your business being found on the internet. Google functions as the modern phone book and is the first-place people will go when searching for a service. Google geolocates your business and will place it above normal websites if you have strong reviews and manage your presence through the google business suite. Your website is where you capture a lead.
When a potential customer finds your business, the website for your business is where they go to learn more about your company and book an appointment. On your website it is essential to have a lead capture form, where they enter their information for you to follow up with them. The information you collect from leads is essential to automating your marketing strategy.
Here is a hypothetical journey of a potential customer. First, they query google, for example they search “HVAC installation.” Google automatically finds their location, and matches them with results in their area, displaying a list of businesses in google maps at the top of the search results. These results include a phone number, links to social media, and a star-based rating. Most importantly they include a link to your website. This is where a potential lead will vet your business, checking your past reviews, social media presence, and the information on your website. From there, they can call you via the number you have listed on google or opt to book a call or appointment from your website. In a best-case scenario, they either call you directly from google, which you can track via the google business suite, or they navigate to your website where they book a call or appointment. This is where the magic happens.
If they are booking through your website, you can capture their information directly through a form. For example, you could have a form that asks “Interested in our services?” and provides a way for them to schedule a phone consultation. This form can ask for a variety of information, but their name, phone, and email are essential. If you want to go beyond this, we recommend asking for specifics about the type of work they are interested in so that you can address their needs as soon as you contact them.Once they enter information on your site, you need a system in place that notifies you and creates a customer record in a database. While you can use a tool like google sheets to log this data, it is best to create a record in a CRM (customer retention management) database. CRM products offer a suite of tools that let you track interactions with a potential customer and eventually convert them into a paying customer. A CRM also makes it easy to manually add a customer if they come to you organically, in other words through a source that is out of your control, like finding your phone number.
After you have started to build a database of leads, it’s time to market your service to them. It is incredibly important to operate a complete and accurate database, so that you are not wasting time and money marketing to customers that are not truly interested in the service you provide. A preemptive step you can take to help maintain a clean database is to ask more from your customers in the form where the lead is captured. While asking more of potential leads early on will result in some dropping off before submitting their information, it will result in only the most motivated clients making it into your database.
With your database built and cleaned, there are a plethora of ways that you can automate marketing to these leads, but before automating marketing it is critical that you make the initial contact directly. This can be a phone call to discuss their needs, or an email responding to the details they listed in your lead capture form. No matter how you directly follow up, it is important to do so quickly. When a customer reaches out, it is rare that they only reach out to one provider, with most opting to reach out to the top 2-5 companies they find in their initial search. A prompt response increases your chances of winning their business and is a near guarantee that you will beat a competitor that fails to respond within the first 24 hours.
After initially reaching out, it’s time for automation to take over. The most direct way to automate your marketing is through something called a drip campaign. A drip campaign is a series of emails that are scheduled to go out after a specified period elapses and begin when a customer is added to that email list. As an example, an initial email is sent that thanks the lead for reaching out, a week later an email is sent that outlines/clarifies the services your business offers, and two weeks later a final email promotes a deal or specific service. Through your CRM or customer database, you can automate updates to the drip campaign process. This will allow you to set a rule that removes a lead from the drip campaign if they book an appointment or move them to another drip campaign if they request a quote but do not book an appointment. This sort of automation ensures your marketing stays relevant to a given client and alters the messages you send them based on their interaction with your business.
Automated marketing can work wonders for past clients as well. In fact, you may have a longer list of past clients than new leads, especially if you are new to lead generation. A drip campaign that sends follow up emails after a job is completed can be a great way to leave a positive impression after you have completed work, oreven request that the customer leave a review on google.
Mass email campaigns, on the other hand, work differently than drip campaigns in that they send a single email to a large list all at the same time. Mass emails are a good way to seasonally remind clients of your services or promote specials. If you operate a cleaning business, it is easy to send a spring-cleaning reminder to all your past clients, or if you are struggling to book jobs during the off season you can offer a discount to all your past clients via email. Again, this is a place where a proper CRM has advantages over a simpler database system, because it can facilitate the generation of lists based on advanced qualifiers so that you can separate customers by the type of services they need, or their last date serviced, allowing you to tailor your mass emails to match the needs of customers more accurately. Past clients are some of the best customers to market to because they have already chosen to do business with you, making the sales process easier than if they are simply shopping around for a service.
Email marketing is the cornerstone of a marketing automation strategy, so make sure you're doing it right. ServiceMonster offers a suite of tools focused on marketing automation, including a full CRM capable of drip campaigns.